It’s always lovely to follow-up one home tour with another! Today’s tour is very different in style from the last one, but like all home tours, it talks of lives well-loved and well-lived. Anuradha Kapoor and her family live in the Indian city of Gurgaon, and their penthouse home is a boho, maximalist oasis of art and creativity! Thanks to her husband’s work with the merchant navy, Anuradha and family are expert globetrotters and their home has a curated collection of treasures from around the world. Artwork, textiles, masks, sculptures and Anuradha’s own creations – each have a story to tell and vie for your attention. There is a vibrant and fearless mixing of print and patterns that marks it truly bohemian! You can read what Anuradha has to say about what her home means to her but before that I want to say how much I admire their very individual style. When someone says ‘ah, interior design’ dismissively, I try to resist the urge to roll my eyes. After all, it’s a universally, fascinating subject! It’s not about matching and measuring and throw pillows – it’s where you live and love, your refuge from the world. A home is the canvas upon which you paint the story of your life- it makes an artist of all of us. Read on to hear what Anuradha feels about her home. I am reminded of traveler Ibn Battuta’s quote “Traveling—it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”
“When I think of home, my mind conjures up a picture of warmth, comfort , love and a sense of security , a kind of rootedness one doesn’t experience anywhere else . These are the intrinsic qualities of a home. How it ‘looks ‘comes later, but of course, that matters a lot too. The ethos and character of a home comes from the people who inhabit it . I truly believe that the people who live in the house contribute a lot to the aura of a home . A few arguments and disagreements apart, if the atmosphere at home is that of convivial jollity it becomes a place you love to come back to . That said, I now want to come to the other important aspect of a home . How to turn a house into a home is a process which goes on for life, it’s not something you do once and then forget about it. It is how you fill your home with things you love, things which have been handed down to you by parents, grandparents and family. Furniture you pick up at throw away prices and refurbish it to give it new life, things you make yourself, your kids’ attempt at art, souvenirs picked up from travels, thoughtful gifts from family and friends all add up to the allure of a home . I am a firm believer that you don’t have to burn a hole in your pocket to make your home look beautiful. A little bit of imagination and a lot of gumption does the trick for me most of the times. Our home is an amalgamation of various influences, a coming together of many cultures and decor elements , mainly due to our extensive traveling. My husband is a master mariner in the merchant navy and because of him we have seen places one would otherwise not think of travelling to. I remember the time we went to Sierra Leone in Africa. There were these boatmen who used to come close to our ship with their boats laden with African artifacts , the sight of which used to make my heart beat quicken with excitement. And would you believe it if I tell you that we got all the wares through a barter system. We gave them food, soaps, clothes and electronics in exchange of their beautiful wooden artifacts. Or the time when we went to Sri Lanka and my cousin took me to the batik workshops. I still have the pictures and cushions I picked up there. China was a treasure trove of beautiful handicrafts be it porcelain, lacquer work, embroidery, terracotta kettles in so many shapes and sizes that you want to get all of them back home. The list is endless – ceramics from Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. Porcelain from Korea and Japan, beadwork from South Africa and Kenya. I came back with a stash of quirky tins and boxes and fridge magnets from my recent trip to Europe. If I carry on like this I can fill endless pages. Suffice to say that everything in our home has a story to tell, a warm memory attached to it. Something to ruminate over when I look at them fondly. Even though we have travelled a lot, my design sensibilities are unabashedly Indian. There is no place like India, in as far as the sheer variety of crafts, artifacts, handlooms and textiles are concerned. Every state has something different to offer. Our home is a testament to our love for everything ‘Indian’. Being an artist, I have and always will leave an indelible mark on my home . What place would be better than my own home to showcase my art and my creation? No other place can take the onslaught of my creativity without a whimper or a bit of hesitant rebellion at being filled by a deluge of artwork (haha)! We have been fortunate to have bought our penthouse at a time when it was affordable. We moved to Gurgaon from Hyderabad twelve years ago, and we are a family of five – me,my husband, son, daughter and my mother.”- Anuradha Kapoor
That’s quite a collection, and to have them portrayed together packs a visual punch. I think I could spend hours photographing this home! The penthouse home has place for an outdoor, urban garden and the space is dotted with Anuradha’s art work, from painted kettles to newspaper art, recycled papier-mâché and other handcrafted work. Her work is coming soon to Collectivitea and we are excited!